Tuesday, February 02, 2010

No Human Rights For You!

In a couple of months - April, to be exact - Amnesty International will organize a "Human Rights Arts Festival" in Silver Spring, Maryland. A first event of this kind, the purpose of the festival is to "bring together artists, local businesses and politicians to use socially transformative art to raise awareness of human rights and justice issues, as well as the important work of Amnesty International".

Human rights and justice issues? Sounds like a good venue to present the plight of the non-Albanians precariously surviving in the "Independent State of Kosovo," right? At least that's what the folks at RAS thought, when they recommended
Boris Malagurski's documentary "Kosovo: Can You Imagine?" as one of the films to be featured at the festival.

Nothing doing, came the reply from AI. The film "does not fit with the
atmosphere" they wanted to create, described as "advocating for a cause without advocating against another people." The movie, AI argued, "seems to be clearly anti-Albanian."

Zvezdana Scott of RAS replied to this dismissal with the following note, which she allowed me to make public:

Human rights are not violated without a perpetrator violating those rights, and it is puzzling to me as to why you believe this film is anti-Albanian. Is any film dealing with the topic of the Holocaust - anti-German perhaps? Or is this film supposedly anti-Albanian simply because it does not talk about crimes committed against Albanians during the 1990s, something that has generated more media attention than any crimes against Serbs for the last century.

This is not an anti-Albanian film, and I would love to hear your arguments as to why you classify it as such. The film is against what is happening to the Serbs in Kosovo, and the only ones currently responsible for such a state are representatives of the Albanian ethnic group who do have the power to change things, as well as the international community which is doing little to help.

I'm sure most people within that same community often react such as yourself - because the Serbs were thoroughly demonized during the 1990s, it has become irrelevant whether they have the same rights as Albanians or not, and anyone who voices their opinion in favor of even-handedness towards the Serbs - must be anti-Albanian by default. I suggest you look at the film once again and take a bold step because it's not easy breaking from the mainstream. The people want to see something new, original and different from what they've been fed for the last decade.

No thank you, replied the AI official. Not interested.

So there you have it, folks. "Human rights" are great when you can use them as an excuse to launch a war of aggression or three, occupy someone's territory, condone ethnic cleansing (and excuse it as "revenge attacks"), and deliberately turn the other way when an entire people and its heritage are systematically obliterated - so long as the people thus targeted are Serbs.

Any attempt to protest this sort of treatment is labeled "Islamophobic" or "anti-Albanian" or "anti-Croat" or whatever. Having been declared inhuman, how dare they claim to have human rights!? The nerve of these people! Why can't they just die already!?

Many "human rights" groups have eagerly supported the demonization of Serbs. Amnesty International seemed to be an exception, given that they actually dared accuse NATO of war crimes during its 1999 assault on Serbia. Turns out they weren't all that different after all.

Now, you can either take AI's word that pointing out what the KLA has done with occupied Kosovo is "anti-Albanian", or you can watch Malagurski's film, and judge for yourself.


Lasse Johansson said...

I saw the movie already and it is very disturbing to see how the non-albanians are living today in Kosovo. The people responsible for the current situation just do not want the truth to come out. It does not fit with their decade long media campaign justifying their actions in the Balkan wars. This is especially true for the Kosovo war 1999, which was 100% started by the west, using UCK as proxy.

Noam Chomsky said in the famous interview on RTS that the Kosovo war was started "because Serbia didn't adjust fast enough to the expected social and economic reforms". Then Chomsky mumbeled the following: "in other words, Serbia did not submit to the new world order and had to be punished..."

The interview can easily be found on youtube.

Gray Falcon said...

This tracks with what Strobe Talbott wrote in the preface to John Norris's "Collision Course," namely that the war wasn't about the Albanians at all, but about crushing Serbia for daring to not follow the prescribed path of "transition" the rest of ex-Communist Europe was on. Just goes to show how hollow the "human rights" excuse really was.

louis M said...

I would have expected better from AI as I once worked for them, they had few good words for Human Rights watch and justifiably so, may be they did'nt want the back lash they got when Chomsky gave a speech for them here in the UK, that noted non partisan Balkan expert Ed Vuillarmy got very upset as did other noted human rights crusaders Nick Cohen and MAH.

Suvorov said...

Is it known who "reviewed" this film, or is it an anonymous AI committee?

Gray Falcon said...

I know RAS dealt with a specific individual, but I don't know who that is.

I don't doubt in the least that AI wanted nothing to do with the Serbs, as defending them in any capacity, however little, opens one to hounding by professional victims and atrocity porn peddlers. Not to mention that it might antagonize the Imperial government, and that simply won't do. Might reduce donations, or whatnot.

Dejo said...

If AI no longer bases itself on principles then it's reason for existing are no longer existent. When will it disband, or is it too profitable to disband just yet?

Suvorov said...

RAS is definitely correct in pursuing this case. That's how you get them: you have to be methodical and persevere. Their strength is in widespread ignorance. Once the truth is revealed, nothing will save them.

Anonymous said...

I'm not suprised at all. It is true that AI accused Nato of war crimes in 1999. But these accusations were exclusively connected to the bombing of the Radio Television of Serbia. Imagine someone accusing a murderer just for using a rusty knife... Non of these famous "human rights" organisations said a word about the Nato's war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter . They all pretended as if there was no "crime against peace" and no UN Charter. These "human rights" organisations are happily "neutral" to the fact that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN. They only deal with the quality of knife steel of the murderer. And that is the central question...